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What is Computing/Software Development?


The introduction of Computing and Software Development is a thrilling new initiative within our school. While traditional ICT focuses on how people use Computers and how they can be applied to everyday life, the subject of Computing and Software Development teaches students how computers tick. They learn exciting new technical skills such as programming, binary logic and mathematics, and each step in their journey takes them closer to being highly skilled members of the future global economy.

 

Computing Careers


computingAs computers become more and more a part of our lives, the need for computer savvy people increases. There are a huge variety of jobs within this field including: programmers, data entry, computer repair, systems analyst, database administrator; and according to Computer Weekly Computing graduates;

“enjoy higher levels of employment better rates of pay and more career opportunities than the general graduate...”. *

 

Beginning to study this subject at school will ensure that students are ahead of the game in accessing what is the biggest economic growth area in Northern Ireland.

 

Facilities


St Patrick’s Grammar has a dedicated Computing and Software Development suite with standalone laptops. This allows us to use a much wider range of programming tools than the normal school C2K network facilitates, providing a much richer experience for students.

We have also applied to become a pilot school for the new BBC Microbit project. We hope that the BBC will roll out these fantastic tools before the end of this year.

 

Staff


This subject is taught by Miss Emer Campbell.

 

Further Information


We offer a number of extra-curricular activities.

  • At KS3 we have a junior school Computing Club. Members complete a number of challenges and compete for prizes each term. Last year we also hosted the fantastic Sentinus programming Roadshow, where students learned to control their computers via circuit boards and playdo!
  • At KS4 and KS5 we aim to provide a number of school trips each year. Last year we visited IBM in Dublin, Allstate Ireland in Belfast, Stormont Castle, and the BBC Technology Roadshow, also in Belfast.
  • At KS5 we provide a programming enrichment module for students who are not studying this subject but who nonetheless wish to consider it as a career. Students use block programming to create an arcade style game, and then use a traditional programming language to create a graphical interface based app.

 

Useful Links


What is Computing? http://www.whatiscomputing.org/

Why choose Computing? http://www.mastersportal.eu/articles/426/top-10-reasons-to-study-computing-or-it.html

Computing at Queens: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/eeecs/

Computing at UU: http://www.compeng.ulster.ac.uk/


*Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Computer-graduates-still-enjoy-above-average-pay

 


GCSE Computing

 

gcsecom

This subject is currently assessed by OCR. Due to the changes in assessment in England, this may change in the future. This information will be updated as soon as the relevant decisions are made. The current OCR course consists of two pieces of Controlled Assessment (coursework) which are completed throughout years 11 and 12 and one external examination which is taken in June of year 12.

The structure of the GCSE course is summarised in the table below:

 Unit  Assessment  Weighting

 Unit 1:

Computer Systems and Programming

 Written Paper:

 Wednesday 8th June 2016 (1hr 30mins)

 40% of GCSE

 Unit 2:

Practical Investigation

 Controlled Assessment  30% of GCSE

 Unit 3:

Programming Project

 Controlled Assessment  30% of GCSE

 

Students will cover the following topics in Year 11:

 Term  Topic  Timing
 1

 Controlled Assessment:

Practical Investigation; managing databases through SQL.

Each of the 3 units requires the same level of
study and so the year will be evenly divided
between the different sections. Students will
spend approximately 2 terms on each unit.
 2

 Controlled Assessment:

Practical Investigation; managing databases through SQL.

 3

 Controlled Assessment:

Programming Project; creating coded solutions to problems.

 

Students will cover the following topics in Year 12:

 Term  Topic  Timing
 1

 Controlled Assessment:

Programming Project; creating coded solutions to problems.

Each of the 3 units requires the same level
of study and so the year will be evenly divided
between the different sections. Students will
spend approximately 2 terms on each unit.
 2

Theory:

Fundamentals of computer systems; hardware; software; representation of data.

 3

Theory:

Databases; computer communications and networking; programming; testing. 

 

 


AS Software Development

 

ascom ascom1

AS Software Systems Development is taught over 8 periods per week and follows the CCEA specification. It consists of one externally assessed written examination and an internally assessed practical component.

The structure of the AS course, including examination dates, is summarised in the table below:

 Unit  Assessment  Weighting
 AS 1 - Object Oriented Programming

 Written Paper:

 Wednesday, 25th May 2016 (2hrs)

 50% of AS
 As 2 - Event Driven Programming (Coursework)

 Internal Practical Assessment

 (Further details below)

 50% of AS

 

The table below shows the outline of the AS Software Systems Development course as it will be delivered in St Patrick’s in 2015-2016:

 Term   Topic  Timing
 1

Theory:

Introduction to sequential programming: variables; data types and structures; iteration; selection and arrays.

Coursework:

Form based Object Oriented programming and Product design.

 Each section of the coursework relies on skills gained through study of the theory. Time will be evenly divided between topics and each  theory  unit will be followed by the relevant coursework task.

 

 Final submission of coursework will be April 2016.

 2

Theory:

Introduction to Object Oriented programming; methods; classes and inheritance.

Coursework:

Project development and documentation and the Systems Lifecycle.

 3

Theory:

Advanced Object Oriented programming including exception handling, polymorphism and encapsulation.

 

 


A2 Software Development

 

A2 Software Systems Development is taught over 9 periods per week and follows the CCEA specification.

It consists of one externally assessed written examination and an internally assessed practical component.

The structure of the A2 course, including examination dates, is summarised in the table below:

 Unit  Assessment  Weighting
 A2 1 - System Approaches and Database Concepts.

 Written Paper:

 Monday 16th May 2016 (2hrs)

 50% of AS
 A2 2 - Implementing Solutions

 Internal Practical Assessment

 (Further details below)

 50% of AS


The table below shows the outline of the A2 Software Systems Development course as it will be delivered in St Patrick’s in 2015-2016:

 Term  Topic  Timing
 1
Introduction to Relational Database concepts,
using SQL programming to create and manipulate
tables, and using Visual C# to build Graphical User
Interfaces and link them to databases.
 Final submission of coursework will be April 2016.
 2
Introduction to Systems Methodologies and
Analytical Modelling techniques.
 3
Project Management tools, techniques and
stages.  Design Modelling tools and their
applications.

 


 

 

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